Eco-Tourism or Oil? The Sani People Choose. (slideshow)
When I wrote about the Napo Wildlife Center and wondered what options the local native peoples had to hold off the oil companies, one commenter pointed out that I could take the price of my plane ticket and do the right thing by sending them money.
But it is more complicated than that; the "best practices" that are being taught in the eco-lodges are spilling over into their everyday lives. They don't dine on monkey anymore because they realize that it is crazy to eat what the tourists want to see. The impact of eco-lodges goes beyond just catering to rich tourists, as the Sani Kichwa of the Napo River in Ecuador have found.